Beef Stroganoff

Sometimes, you come across a dish, and it just sounds so….archaic. You can’t help but think that this is what people used to eat before they had things like spice, taste, or technique. This, of course, is based on nothing in particular, and you know this, but the stigma remains. But then you think of the dish again. And again. And somehow, through sheer repetition, you become intrigued, until soon, you can’t help but want a taste yourself. For me, that was beef stroganoff, and let’s just say I’m glad I came around.

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff really did not interest me at first. I mean, beef in bland noodles with sour cream being the bulk of the sauce? Doesn’t sound super exciting. Kind of like cafeteria food really (maybe that’s a part of the stigma for me?). Of course, I like beef, pasta, and creamy things, so eventually, after seeing a click to read more…

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Egg Noodles

This is by no means a glamorous post–it was actually something I was writing up for another post, but I wrote so much that it just seemed way too long to call it one single post and expect you to actually read the whole thing. So instead, some times, its good to take a moment to focus on some of the basics. Today: how to make something as simple as pasta noodles. In this particular case, egg noodles.

Cut the noodles and let dry

When you think about it, pasta is one of those items taken for granted quite often. You buy a box for cheap, boil for a few minutes, and you’re all set without even having to really give it a second thought. While home-made isn’t quite as convenient (I mean, come on, you’re up against a maximum of 10 minutes!), it can be fun, a learning experience, and, as always, taste better than store bought. I employed my click to read more…

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Mike’s Table: bigger, better, stronger…and moved!

Over the past few months, this blog has grown in more ways than I had originally anticipated. I’ve done the blogging thing before, but always gave up on it, or like many other small, tech-related hobby projects, lost interest and let it slip away. But this has been something special for me and I’ve been going at it for a few months now (and many, many more to come!). As such, it seems that my previous setup for the web site was becoming a little inadequate for my growing audience, and so it was time to put a little money into the site with an upgrade.

That’s right–no more bizarre-o looking web address to get here. Mike’s Table is now located at http://mikes-table.themulligans.org. The old address will still be around for a while so that there can be a smooth transition, but please, please, please update your bookmarks to the new address.

Forclick to read more…

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Nectarine Cobbler

I figured dessert has been a little ice cream-centric lately, so it only seemed fair to give something else a shot. Well one of my favorite fruits has been very available lately–nectarines–and what better way to serve up a nectarine dessert than in a cobbler?

Nectarine Cobbler

Cobblers are a fun, comforting dessert–sort of like a fruity pie but without the trouble of making a proper crust and sort of like a cake, but without worrying about it looking pristine. A cobbler is just a nice, no frills way to serve up some delicious fruit. This smelled great while baking in the oven and it tasted wonderful–light, sweet, lively fruit flavor, and a spongy cake-like topping with a nutty crunch. I was disappointed in it when I ate it the first night though, but was delighted to fall in love with it again the next day–I suppose the flavors were shy and had to get to know each other a little… click to read more…

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Osso Bucco

I love veal, and if I could eat veal all the time, I would. Unfortunately, its one of those foods that caught something of a reputation that it doesn’t entirely deserve. This makes enjoying it all the more difficult though since not everybody you’re cooking for will approach or even consider veal quite the same way as you (a veal lover, of course). I however, couldn’t hold back the craving any longer and I went right for the veal dish that is one of my all-time favorites: osso bucco.

Osso Bucco plated atop some mascarpone polenta

If you’ve never had osso bucco before, you really have to try it. This is one of those dishes that, I think, always leads to full bellies, happy guests, and clean plates. Why? Osso bucco is a beautiful, Italian preparation of veal that really shows off the unique flavor and tender qualities of the meat with the culinary sensibilities of Italian cuisine.

You start with a thick, tough cut of… click to read more…

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Creamy Mascarpone Polenta

Poltena is a delicious, creamy side on its own right, but with more cream, butter, and some luxuriously rich mascarpone, you have a very rich side dish indeed.

Creamy Mascarpone Polenta

This is a very simple dish and something of a blank canvas for anything you’d like to color it with (sort of like risotto–the awesome rice that demands equally awesome additions). My reason for keeping it simple will be clear in the next post (I served this as a side-dish), but if you’d like your polenta to stand out more, you’ve got many options: mushrooms, squash, beans, greens, ham, formed and deep fried–it all works and works wonderfully. Heck, you could even employ it in desserts. But additions aside, polenta, at its core, is simply boiled cornmeal, cooked and whipped so as to be light, puffy, and creamy, sort of like having a rich porridge that ever so faintly resembles cornbread. Its a good, comforting side dish that leaves a lot… click to read more…

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